Since this is my 100th ClickZ column, it's a good time to revisit my online marketing philosophy. Looking back over my columns, most relate to one or more of the seven-step interactive marketing framework, which has its grounding in core direct marketing principles. Ultimately, these steps aim to engage prospects and customers to develop a profitable relationship.
At the heart of almost any interactive marketing program are the following seven steps. This is a good structure for planning an online campaign as well as for providing an in-depth creative brief.
Define Business Goals
Most marketing strategies aim to either increase sales or build brand to drive sales. Since marketing efforts are tailored based on the customers' relationship with the company, this translates to one of three major objectives:
While branding may also be considered an important goal, the ultimate marketing objective is always to drive sales.
Identify Target Markets
Unlike mass-media offerings, interactive marketing campaigns are generally focused on specific customer segments. To aid marketing development, these groups of prospects and customers may be defined along the following dimensions:
Create an Offer
The offer can be described in terms of traditional marketing's 4Ps:
Choose a Medium
Media depend on your business goals and should reach at the customer groups identified in the target market:
Creative relates to how a product or service is presented to prospects and customers. This can be broken into five different components:
Test continually to find ways to improve your marketing results. Look for factors that will help you improve the bottom line. It's important to run tests more than once to ensure results aren't flukes. Test factors even if they haven't been important in the past, since needs can change over time. Consider that traditional direct marketers set aside up to 25 percent of their marketing budget for testing. Areas to test include:
Define Success Metrics
At the end of every campaign and on an ongoing bass, it's important to assess results to determine your marketing's effectiveness in achieving intended goals. Most focus on the following three types of metrics (which will be covered in more depth in the next column):
Every campaign requires care and feeding to reach its full potential. This translates into ongoing marketing support and analysis of results.
Next time: three types of success metrics.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and input over the past 100 columns. Please feel free to reach out and suggest ideas and input for future columns.
Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
June 5, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT
June 20, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT